Wednesday, April 30, 2003

For the second time in 48 hours, U.S. soldiers fired on Iraqi civilians in Fallujah and some civilians were killed. This is big news, but for some reason it's not seen by the American media as really big news -- leads with Donald Rumsfeld's Iraq photo op, ABC and Fox lead with the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, and the Fallujah story doesn't appear at all on's front page. The top story in the print New York Times today is not the first Fallujah incident but the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Saudi Arabia, and the big splash picture above the fold is Rumsfeld on an aircraft surrounded by servicemen and trying, as usual, to supress a shit-eating smirk. (The Times Web site does, however, now lead with the second Fallujah incident.)

I can't help thinking that the protesters are going to have to set up an entire media operation -- expensively designed briefing area, daily press conference timed so it can appear live on Good Morning America and Fox and Friends, you know the drill.

A few weeks ago, that Columbia professor notoriously declared his wish for "a million Mogadishus" to humble the United States. At this point, if there were a million Mogadishus, I'm not sure reporters would portray them as a humiliation -- especially if CentCom briefers directed their attention elsewhere.


Oh, and did you catch this? It wasn't just Fallujah. This is from the Times:

In the northern city of Mosul, meanwhile, 9 people were killed and 29 were injured as residents celebrated Mr. Hussein's birthday by firing guns into the air, hospital officials said. Doctors said the majority were killed by celebratory gunfire, but they said American soldiers had apparently shot several Iraqis after they mistook celebratory gunfire shots for attacks.

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